Cooking results ranged from acceptable to mediocre. When we cooked 28 ounces of frozen french fries at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the Philips HD9641/96 for 25 minutes, most turned out evenly cooked, but a handful of fries were still underdone. However, the Philips air fryer fared better than others we tested, such as the GoWISE USA GW22621 and Avalon Bay Digital Air Fryer 220SS, which burned the fries closest to the heating element and left the ones on the bottom of the basket completely raw. The hand-cut fries we cooked in the Philips HD9641/96 using ½ tablespoon of oil were evenly browned, but they had a dried-out, dehydrated texture. Some of the fish sticks and breaded chicken tenders were soggy in places and not as crispy as we had hoped, even after we increased the cooking time. And though the pork chops we cooked in the Philips HD9641/96 had nice color around the edges, the centers were pale and unappetizing. The edges of the meat were browned, but the surface was almost completely pale, and the result didn’t hold a candle to the glistening, evenly browned pork chop you can get from cooking in a skillet. Is a device that cooks food so poorly worth $250? Nope, it isn’t.
This wasn’t the cheapest of appliances (close to $200 USD), which is why it took me 2 years to finally bite the bullet. There are several options on Amazon though, but the Philips and T-Fal models seem to be the most popular. However, with as much as I’ve already used it and the fact that we’ll be going through a kitchen remodel soon where I won’t have an oven, I think I will definitely get my money’s worth.
I'm Ashley Clarke Thompson. And I'm Ry Crist. And we're here at the CNET applicanes office to talk about what has been on our mind and in our stomachs for the past two weeks. Which is air fryers. Yeah, so air fryers, the thing you have to understand about these things, is that they aren't really frying anything. It's just blowing hot air over your food in this kind of small, contained space and that makes them sort of a small, counter top, convection oven And nothing that you cook in them is gonna be much different than what you get out of a convection oven. It's just kind of a different way of doing it. And you know, it has good marketing. It's all about, like you can fry up foods healthier, you know? But at the end of the day, we really weren't Too impressed with most of these. Yeah, I mean, it's the same difference between frying and air frying as frying and baking. If I just put a bunch of frozen french fries out on a baking sheet and baked them, I'm not using oil, I'm not deep frying them in their own juices or anything. It's just going to be what we get out of an air fryer. Which is just this, golden brown, kind of crispy, kind of dry. Frozen fries. And these are perfectly reheated, these are snackable. I enjoy these fries, it's fine. But a lot of these new fryers cost $200, $300 and that just feel absolutely ridiculous. I wouldn't spend more than a $100 for a Unitasker like this that's just heating up frozen stuff. You know, I honestly couldn't especially for the more expensive fryers that we tested. I mean, some of them the MSRP is $300. Which for me was a lot of money for something that essentially does one thing really well. I mean, as somebody who tests small appliances, I think you would be better off with a toaster oven. It can do the same thing, especially if it has convection in the toaster oven, and it can toast, which these cannot. Yeah, thank you for talking while I was chewing by the way. Now it's my turn. Your turn, yeah. The one that we have here, the Simple Chef, is just 70 bucks. So it's the cheapest we tested. Did a fine job with fries, did the cheese sticks and pizza rolls and frozen snack tests pretty well Didn't do great with fresh fries, and burgers, and chicken wings. It was okay. But again, nothing better than you'd get out of your oven. So if you understand that you're not getting a special cooking appliance that's gonna unlock some new recipes and really just Convenient oven for your counter top, I think this one is fine. But I wouldn't spend much more than that. Yeah, I agree. I mean, if you have just some spare money and a love of pizza rolls and mozarella sticks then sure, 70 bucks, not too bad.
Next up is the Power Air Fryer XL, which boasts a 3.4 quart basket with a non-stick coating -- so your food should be easy to remove after cooking. This fryer features 7 preset programs, including a roast preset, bake preset, steam preset, and more. On top of that, the fryer heats up to 400 degrees, which should be perfect for the vast majority of uses.
"When you deep fry okra it gets greasy and slimy. When you bake it it gets soggy and slimy. But when you air fry it, it kind of dehydrates it a little bit. The heat gets through the skin of the okra to crisp it up a bit and take away a lot of the sliminess." In the book, there's a recipe for charred okra with a peanut chile sauce, which gives the appealing crispy texture of that southern favorite covered in cornmeal breading and deep fried, with only a little oil and some salt and pepper.
Like the GoWISE model, the Avalon Bay Digital Air Fryer 220SS burned the fries closest to the heating element and left those on the bottom of the basket raw. The Avalon Bay model was one of the few that came with accessories in the box. But we found the included cake pan to be so small (it measures just 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch high) that it was virtually useless.
Share “Everything You Should Expect From an Air Fryer (Despite Its Name)” on FacebookShare “Everything You Should Expect From an Air Fryer (Despite Its Name)” on TwitterShare “Everything You Should Expect From an Air Fryer (Despite Its Name)” on PinterestShare “Everything You Should Expect From an Air Fryer (Despite Its Name)” on Google+Email “Everything You Should Expect From an Air Fryer (Despite Its Name)”
This one is similar to the others in that it can make a number of fried creations using a fraction of the oil of traditional frying. Biggest differences include that it's dishwasher safe, it comes with two cookbooks filled with air fryer recipes, and it received more than 1,200 reviews from happy customers, rating it an average 4.4 out of 5 stars. When you consider most people are rating it based on how close it gets to authentic fried food, that's a pretty darn good review for this air-circulating crisper.
We loved the super simplistic design. We know that air frying doesn’t require too much temperature monitoring, and it’s apparent that T-fal have implemented this knowledge in the design. There is only an on/off button and a timer control that displays a digital countdown which can be set up to 99 minutes. There is no temperature dial with this unit heating up to 338 °F and staying there.
If you’re into meal prepping or are vegan, you know the beauty of the sweet potato, that versatile spud that’s good for you and takes well to any flavor you can imagine. You also know how long they take to cook, and that, as fries, they never really get that crispy. This is not the case in an air fryer, where the circulated high heat partially dehydrates the outside to a crisp, similar to eggplant, while cooking the insides until soft. Whether cut into fries, cubes, or spears, sweet potatoes cook up much faster than in the oven.
Traded in my Big Boss Air Fryer for one of these and I absolutely love it. I cooked bacon the other day. You need to rotate the racks every now and then because the top cooks faster than the others and you need to spritz them lightly with cooking spray. Two days ago I used the rotisserie. Took me a while to find the spit because it was on the bottom of the styrofoam packaging. Good thing I didn't throw it out. It's a great little oven. It would be perfect for a student in college or a senior. I just love it.